To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning play In The Heights directed by Jon M. Chu will open the festival on June 9.
Tribeca will host the film’s world premiere, in partnership with City National Bank and Montefiore-Einstein, at the United Palace theater in Washington Heights, the very neighborhood where the vibrant story takes place.
“It is such an honor to open the 20th anniversary Tribeca Film Festival with ‘In the Heights,’” Miranda said. “We’re so excited to welcome them uptown. This will be an unforgettable night at the United Palace. We can’t wait to share this musical love letter to our community, with our community, in our community.”
In the Heights centers around a bodega owner named Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who dreams of saving enough money to return home to the Dominican Republic. Quiara Alegría Hudes adapted the screenplay with original songs and lyrics by Miranda. The cast also includes Melissa Barrera, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, and Jimmy Smits. Miranda, Hudes, Scott Sanders, Anthony Bregman, and Mara Jacobs produce.
“In the Heights is the quintessential New York story of hard-work, resilience, and triumph. We are proud to feature this film as Opening Night where it can debut in its hometown in celebration of its New York roots and the Latinx community,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and the Tribeca Festival.
“We couldn’t be more excited to offer this unique, first-of-its-kind film experience as a gift to communities all over New York City,” added Paula Weinstein, Chief Content Officer, Tribeca Enterprises.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Tribeca for a city-wide takeover of In the Heights,” Chu said. “New York, and specifically Washington Heights, is the lead character in our film—its vibrancy and energy are unmatched. How incredible that after a year of isolation, New Yorkers from across all boroughs will have an opportunity to see it first, together, and join us in the celebration of life coming back.”
The film was originally set for theatrical release on June 26, 2020 but was pushed back due to the pandemic. The film will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the U.S. in theaters and on HBO Max on June 11 and will be available on the streaming platform for 31 days from theatrical release.
For the first time ever, the festival’s opening night will be screened simultaneously across all five boroughs in multiple open-air venues. The 2021 edition will run June 9-20 as the first major North American film festival held in person since COVID-19. The 12-day live celebration is the culmination of NY PopsUp, the statewide revitalization initiative to bring back live entertainment and the arts to the community.
Last month, Tribeca Film Festival announced a return to live events with innovative outdoor screenings and exhibitions. To ensure everyone’s safety, they are working closely with the New York State Department of Health to meet COVID-19 protocol.